Psychology doctoral program earns national ranking

May 3, 2018



Staff Reporter | dcs033@latech.edu


The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology awarded Louisiana Tech’s psychology doctoral program with the number one ranking in their Applied Development and Opportunities category March 26.


These awards are annually bestowed by SIOP on programs that have been particularly influential and successful in the American psychology realm.


Donna Thomas, department chair of psychology and behavioral sciences, said this ranking is representative of the staff and students who work to ensure prime opportunities for doctoral students to execute their training.


“Our program is based on the hard work of our faculty and students to provide these experiences,” Thomas said. “Most of our students are full time and work very hard to ensure the success of our program.”


The program’s professional consulting team is headed by faculty but ran by students. Thomas said because of this, experiences that doctoral students have had opportunity to garner have helped them land jobs at various companies nationwide and globally.


“Students from our program have graduated and gone on to take jobs at CenturyLink, Frito Lay, Google, Pepsi Co. and many other notable companies,” Thomas said. “They leave our program with hands-on experience and practical knowledge that other new graduates  just don’t have.”


Because the award recognizes the opportunities for psychology grads at Tech, the department hopes future grad students willing to take a more hands-on approach to their studies will apply for the upcoming year.


Steven Toaddy, head of psychology, said he expects the ranking will garner a lot of attention, therefore attracting a larger future applicant pool.


“I would hope that our program’s recent ranking helps signal to current, prospective and prior students the program’s focus on applied experience,” Toaddy said. “This will help our program to further tweak itself to accentuate its strengths and to acknowledge its shortcomings and to lend us some credibility when we offer guidance to other programs that seek to prepare practitioners for careers in our field.”


Toaddy also said the reason he thinks Tech’s received this honor is a direct result of the attitude of the program’s students.


“I suspect that what sets us apart in this ranking is our students’ enthusiasm and willingness to celebrate their opportunity,” Toaddy said.


Khristian Shaul, senior psychology major, said the program’s ranking is a very attractive facet of their program and entirely contributes to her decision to apply in the future.


“I knew their doctoral program was accredited,” Shaul said. “Now, if I get accepted in the future, I can put on resumes that I attended the No. 1 nationally ranked doctoral program.”


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